How to choose between two of the biggest names in the industry.

The Water People on 13 September 2017

In the confusing world of water filtration, how do you decide which system is right for you? The two main global market leaders are both proudly Australian with a proven record for innovative and functional design. So how do you choose between Billi and Zip? Which is the best?

Zip was the first company to manufacture the instant boiling water drinking system back in the 1960s and certainly has a much larger market share both in Australia and globally than Billi. The Zip brand has since become synonymous with instant boiling water taps and is a known and trusted brand built and proven over time.

However Billi was the first to manufacture the combined instant boiling and chilled tap back in 1990, and they are the major direct competitor to Zip, so they're a brand that should not be ignored.

Important considerations

While both brands have a lot in common, there are some differences you should consider when choosing the right product for you. Price is often an important factor in purchasing decisions, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you think about.

Some of the options you should consider include:

  • Filtration quality
  • Tap design options
  • Chilling and boiling capacity
  • Under bench size of the system
  • Warranties and after sales support

There are also ongoing considerations for after your system has been installed, such as the cost of replacement filters and C02 bottles, and how easy these can be changed either by yourself or a qualified service technician.

Both Zip and Billi systems are Australian made with Billi’s manufacturing and head quarters based in Melbourne and Zip based in Sydney, so both brands give you the confidence you’re buying Australian made products where quality control is paramount. Billi is still an Australian owned company, while Zip was purchased in July 2017 by US filter giant Culligans. Both brands export globally and have a strong hold still here in Australia however company ownership is now one difference between the two.

Filtering options

Both the Zip and Billi systems have one single filter with two filtration options. As standard they come with a sub micron filter which filters:

  • Dirt
  • Sediment
  • Chlorine
  • Cysts
  • Bad taste and odour

While this standard filter is great for residential use, it is often not the best option for a heavy use environment such as the work place. This is because the filter can block up quickly and require frequent changing, making it a costly maintenance issue. The simple solution to this is to use a larger micron filter instead, which is offered by both Zip and Billi and filter out all the same things except for cysts.

As neither brand offers fluoride or heavy metal reducing filters or a larger filter system that can cope with high usage without needing frequent changes, you can simply add a pre-filter system to taps from either brand. Neither brand offers these pre-filters as an addition, but consulting with an experienced independent water filtration company like The Water People, this can be easily achieved with the addition of a specialist pre-filter system.

Design and style

zip tap brand

Zip product

Zip offers designs such as the goose neck style Arc or square design Cube taps. Zip also has the all-in-one tap Celsius, which dispenses both your mains unfiltered hot and cold water as well as boiling, chilled, and sparkling water all in one tap. This is great for those who don’t want a separate tap for filtered water.

Both brands have a system with a hot water supply option eliminating the need for a separate hot water supply. This helps with applications which don’t have a mains hot water supply or have issues with hot water supply.

Billi’s Quadra Plus system fits this area but is still in two separate taps, while Zip offers both the two tap option and the all-in-one option. The two tap option can be easier for maintenance, but whether you want two taps or an all-in-one tap is also a matter of preference.

If your system is being installed as a stand alone tap with a separate bench mounted drain, the drain kit is different between the two brands. Billi’s bench mounted drain kit is a rectangular shape while Zip’s is round. It’s just another point of difference between the two.

Both Zip and Billi offer extensive tap colour options to excite any interior designer, with Billi now offering unique tap colours which definitely create that wow factor, such as lime green, matte white, grape or a colour even aligned with your companies brand.

Both Zip and Billi have the more popular tap colour options in the market such as polished chrome, brushed chrome, matte black, gloss black or rose gold. Colour options with both brands are extensive and offer something for everyone with some differences between the two.

Choosing the best system for you

Billi tends to have more competitive prices than Zip, and this is quite evident in their residential and sparkling & chilled ranges. Some of the best value Billi systems include:

Billi Dual Lever Tap Polished Chrome

Billi product

There is a clear price advantage when it comes to these systems. Part of the lower cost may be because Billi is a smaller company than Zip with smaller overheads, letting them pass on those savings to you.

Both brands have a large range of systems to suit the smallest home to the busiest of offices, offering varied chilling and boiling capacity units to suit your demands. In the commercial sector, if sparkling water is a consideration for you, Zip now offer the refillable 2.6kg C02 bottle as standard in all their commercial sparkling systems, while Billi only offers their standard 1kg C02 bottle which may be too small for the commercial setting.

However, both Billi and Zip systems are easily adaptable to the 2.6kg C02 refillable canister and can also be upgraded to the larger 6kg C02 bottle if you purchase your system through The Water People. We offer these C02 upgrades at the point of purchase, giving you the right C02 capacity to suit your needs from the start.

Product support

When it comes to warranties, Zip is still the leader, offering a standard three-year warranty on most of their systems and a five-year comprehensive warranty on their internal tank. Billi offers a two-year warranty as standard with extended warranties available.

As far as after market service is concerned, Billi is exceptional in backing their product and quick to respond at all times. Billi has a strong reputation for being personable and offering exceptional customer service and after sales support.

Billi is big enough to offer high tech, innovative products but still small enough to maintain exceptional and prompt customer service at all times.

In summary

When it comes to choosing between Zip and Billi, it’s not a simple decision to make. Both are innovators and industry leading manufacturers. Your decision may simply come down to the style of tap you like or your budget.

One thing is certain, if you do decide to purchase a Zip or Billi instant chilled, boiling or sparkling water tap, you’ll wonder why you didn’t purchase it sooner. They have become a must have appliance in any office and a luxury addition to many homes.

See our full range of Zip and Billi products here or call us on 03 9885 0222 for expert advice.